Am I a hypocrite? Can I be a royal watcher and simultaneously despise the Kardashians?
A few weeks ago, I was in Germany for work. While there, I picked up a few German gossip magazines for my German instructor in Indianapolis. She isn't a fan of the gossip magazines in the States - she wants to know about Queen Letizia of Spain or Princess Victoria of Sweden, not Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston. So I picked up a few for her and read them on the train to the airport, as some German language practice. Also, on the trip, I read Royal We, which is basically Will and Kate fanfiction.
Those magazines, that book, and being in Europe did it: I was hooked. Suddenly I found myself looking at the Google News Royals section, actually reading the Go Fug Yourself Royals Roundup on Fridays rather than skimming for pretty outfits. Don't get me wrong - I still enjoyed the pretty outfits (I love this dress Kate wore to throw boots at something) but also the history and pageantry of all of it. There a few fun Kate blogs I've started following. Royalista has a nice general news roundup. There is an entire website devoted to hats! Finally, if you need to kill a weekend or two, just start exploring the Wiki entries on their families. Just check out QEII's page - those arms! The history! That family tree! Also, The Queen was pretty great, right? Jezebel has a nice rundown of some crazy. I'm not ready to move to the EU and start writing about them or anything but it's interesting and a nice distraction from the depressing news (aka, all the rest of it). And Vogue just posted the 18 top royal weddings - Grace! Diana! Kate!
However, I feel the need to validate these feelings. Because I really dislike the Kardashians and comparisons between the monarchies and the Kardashians are everywhere. In fact, in a recent discussion at lunch between two colleagues and myself, we posited that if the States had a monarchy, the Kardashians wouldn't be as famous. Hell, even if the Kennedy's were still in the limelight. We, as a society, need something we can hold onto together. There's also this West Wing episode that suggests it would be easier for the President if we had monarchies. For example, both President Obama and his wife hung out with Prince Harry when he was in the States a few weeks ago. If we had a monarchy, Obama could have spent that time arguing with Congress and Mrs. Obama could have done something with gardening while the monarch entertained the prince.
That stuff aside, what is the similarity between monarchies and the Kardashians? Also, is it okay for me to suddenly look forward to the Friday Royals Roundups while also looking down my noses at the Kardashians? Or should I just admit I'm a hypocrite and take my guilty pleasures where I can?
First, there's the obvious. They're both famous for being famous, their job basically entails showing up looking nice to things, and paparazzi follow them everywhere. But there's the legal stuff on the monarchy. And the history. But the distaste of the Kardashians might be akin to the anti-monarchy movement in Europe.
To make me feel better, at least the House of Windsor supports charities! While the Kardashians are shilling apps and dietary supplements, the royals are patronages for saving kids and wounded veterans. And the occasional Bond film.
But in the end, fuck it, guilty pleasures are guilty pleasures. Life is too short to be against an entire family. If you like the Kardashians, go nuts Enjoy the new season of the show! I'm going to continue to avoid them and look forward to Harry's trip to Africa and the Will and Katie's trip to India, now without guilt. To each their own.